The ALIAS Pilot Trial: a dose-escalation and safety study of albumin therapy for acute ischemic stroke--I: Physiological responses and safety results.
Ginsberg MD., Hill MD., Palesch YY., Ryckborst KJ., Tamariz D.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In preclinical stroke models, high-dose human albumin confers robust neuroprotection. We investigated the safety and tolerability of this therapy in patients with acute ischemic stroke. METHODS: The ALIAS (Albumin in Acute Stroke) Pilot Clinical Trial used a multiple-tier, open-label, dose-escalation design. Subjects with acute ischemic stroke (NIH Stroke Scale [NIHSS] of 6 or above) received a 2-hour infusion of 25% human albumin (ALB) beginning within 16 hours of stroke onset. Six successive ALB dose tiers were assessed ranging from 0.34 to 2.05 g/kg. Neurologic and cardiac function was sequentially monitored. At 3 months, the NIHSS, modified Rankin Scale, and Barthel Index were measured. RESULTS: Eighty-two subjects (mean age, 65 years) received ALB at 7.8+/-3.4 hours after stroke onset (mean+/-standard deviation). Forty-two patients also received standard-of-care intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Vital signs were unaltered by ALB treatment. Dose-related increases in plasma albumin and mild hemodilution were maximal at 4 to 12 hours. Age-related plasma brain natriuretic peptide levels increased at 24 hours after ALB but did not predict cardiac adverse events. The sole ALB-related adverse event was mild or moderate pulmonary edema in 13.4% of subjects, which was readily managed with diuretics. In the tPA-treated subgroup, symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage occurred in only one of 42 subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Twenty-five percent human albumin in doses ranging up to 2.05 g/kg was tolerated by patients with acute ischemic stroke without major dose-limiting complications. tPA therapy did not affect the safety profile of ALB. The companion article presents neurologic outcome data and efficacy analysis in these subjects.